It Ain’t Just Money – Goals for 2014

2014 Blog and Income Goals - Prefontaine

Wouldn’t it be great to run like this guy… needless to say, no running goals here!

Now that I’ve closed the book on 2013 and managed to squeak by and hit my 2013 goals, moving forward to 2014 is important (we are in February after all). For me, goal setting is an enabler, of course in the most positive way possible. Goal setting helps feed my addiction for investment analysis and investing in general.

While I currently discuss two main types of investing here at WYOR, I love analyzing all types of investments. I have cash flow projection worksheets for real estate going from single family homes up to larger multi-unit properties, dividend projections, and peer to peer lending filter analysis. I also love looking at individual growth companies to determine revenue and earnings growth trends, future profitability, and market development. Ultimately, I’ve got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell more data crunching.

For 2014, I will continue to set passive income goals for my dividend and peer to peer lending income. Additionally, I am adding a blog performance goal to help me track how the blog is doing. While certainly important, it isn’t near as important as the passive income goals.

2014 Passive Income Goals

In 2013, I ended the year with $2,643.48 of passive income between my peer to peer lending and dividend income. When setting my goals for 2014 I had to take a few things into consideration while making sure I pushed myself past what was already obtainable with my current investments. This coming year will be an interesting year investment-wise as my fiancé and I bought a house at the end of 2013 and will be getting married this year. As I’m sure many of you can imagine, this alters the capital demands of my life and affects many things, including the capital I can put towards my investments, and not just those tracked on the blog.

My current projections and capital commitments defer a lot of my additional investments to the back half of the year, cutting down on some of the income growth that would have been gained by investing from the beginning of the year. All that being said, I am going to really challenge myself with aggressive goals, knowing that if I don’t hit them, I will have still vastly improved my passive income. Starting off first, let’s tackle my peer to peer lending accounts.

Lending Club Goal: In 2013, my taxable and Roth IRA Lending Club accounts earned a total of $1,503.05 of net interest, exceeding my goal of $1,480 by $23.05. Undeniably successful, I have high hopes for 2014 even given the limited capital I can commit. So, in reaching for the stars, my goal for 2014 will be an increase of $470 from 2013’s goal to $1,950 of net interest across both of my Lending Club accounts.

This represents an increase of 29.7% over my actual 2013 net interest received. What kind of returns do my Lending Club accounts need to return to achieve this goal? I am targeting a 12% internal rate of return based on current holdings and some additional capital investments. I will be updating my investment criteria later this week to show how I plan to invest any new capital plus reinvest the interest received. My published 2013 investment criteria can be found here.

Prosper Marketplace Goal: I had a fantastic start to my investment with Prosper after opening the account in May. I know that I cannot expect to continue at such a high level as late notes and defaults will certainly come down the pike. However, I am not satisfied staying put, and put together a significant increase for my 2014 goal. Representing an increase of $280 and 200.3%, my goal for 2014 will be to earn $400 of net interest from my Prosper account.

Certainly going to be a stretch and require some additional capital in order for me to have any shot of reaching this goal. I am targeting a 14% internal rate of return from my Prosper account in order to hit this goal. As with my Lending Club accounts, I plan on sharing my 2014 Prosper investment criteria later this week. You can find my 2013 Prosper investment criteria here.

Dividends Goal: Squeaking by narrowly with a $5.94 margin over my 2013 goal, this year my goal will be to receive $1,650 of dividends in 2014. Unlike my peer to peer lending accounts, where additional contributions can turn into additional net interest within a couple of months, dividends are a different story. With dividends, you must rely on the timing of quarterly ex-dividends dates and can sometimes go 4-5 months without receiving a dividend from a position. This puts me in the precarious position of stretching my income goal by increasing it by $650 over last year’s goal and requiring additional contributions in a year where things are quite in flux.

2014 Blogging Goal

While not a huge milestone, I passed my first year of blogging back on the fourth of February. I say not huge because I did take a nice four-month hiatus last summer. Since starting back up in the middle of October, I’ve seen a nice rebound in traffic and writing motivation (free time helps with that!). I know that my time will get even more limited towards the back half of the year once married and back in school (pursuing my MBA). To help encourage me to focus on regularity and consistency, posting a blog goal should foster that motivation. Public goals foster accountability and accountability fosters action.

Traffic Goal: In my first almost 11 full months of blogging, going through December, including my extended summer break, I had 7,614 unique visitors come 10,693 times and look through 19,931 pages. I wrote a total of 71 posts and covered everything from whether to DRIP or Not to DRIP to refinancing my rental to the multitude of changes behind the scenes at Lending Club. While I certainly enjoyed some success my first year, I really killed the momentum generated in my first couple months of blogging when I wasn’t posting during the summer. This was also compounded when I had some hosting issues resulting in almost no visitors during July.

2014 Blog and Income Goals - 2013 Blog Traffic

My goal for 2014 is to have 20,000 unique visitors come to my site and view 100,000 pages. While some bloggers can do this in a month (looking at you Dividend Mantra), for a relative rookie like myself, this would represent a tremendous increase in traffic over 2013. Posting consistency and the ability to put out quality content will be the key to achieving this goal.

I thought long and hard about adding two additional blogging goals, but nixed them because they would not properly align incentives to actions. The other two goals I considered were a ‘number of posts’ goal and a ‘blogging income’ goal. The number of posts goal, while admirable, would have incentivized me to post just to post, without encouraging me to write quality content. Just throwing words on the screen isn’t good enough nor inspiring enough to those looking to pursue their own journeys and I didn’t want to pressure myself into doing that.

The blogging income goal is one I might consider for 2015 as it is just a bit too premature at this point. Until I can develop a higher level of consistent traffic, I am not worried about scraping for pennies. This blog should cover all its expenses and then some with the little advertising I have on the site, but that is really its only purpose at this time.

Goals Recap

So there you have it, my four 2014 goals; three financial and one blogging. I plan on altering my monthly update posts so they read better. I should have January out prior to the end of this month once I can finalize and post my peer to peer lending criteria for both Lending Club and Prosper.

All told I am looking to earn $4,000 of passive income over the course of the year and increase my blog traffic five-fold. I have updated my goals page with my 2014 passive income and blog goals, and included a link to all my 2013 passive income updates is there should you want to go back and check out 2013.

There is a lot going on in 2014 and I couldn’t think of a better way to write my own reality. Join me on my journey to find my own slice of financial freedom. You can follow me on TwitterFacebook, or by subscribing via email below. My RSS feed is also available by clicking the feed link at the top of my site.

Have you set goals for 2014? If so, did you make them stretch goals?

Flickr: The Happy Rower

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  1. DividendVet says:

    First off, congratulations on getting engaged!

    Good looking set of goals for all three accounts, though I think you are under estimating the power of dividend growth investing and the compound interest effect. If you focus on buying companies with long history of paying dividends you will be set for a long time to come, plus growth. Also, there are some really great established REITs out there that pay their dividends on monthly basis.

    • Thanks DV! While I would love to be surprised by the strength of compounding dividend growth, my lack of ability to contribute a significant amount of capital to these particular portfolios this year will limit my upside. And I agree, there are a couple of great monthly paying REITS (I own ARCP). Check out my dividend growth portfolio to see what else I currently hold.

  2. Congratulations on the engagement WYOR. Your goals look great and I’m very impressed so many page view so quickly. Good work! I’m looking forward to hearing about your great 2014


  3. WYOR,
    Very ambitious goals this year. Not just the numbers but marriage, new house, MBA, and keeping up the blog. That’s a lot, especially with going to school. But I wish you luck, and I’ll be reading as you progress.

    • Haha there is a lot going on for sure, and that doesn’t even count the three to four softball leagues I plan on playing in this year. Time management will definitely be a must.

      Thanks for stopping by RBD!

  4. W2R,

    Congratulations not only on hitting your 2013 goals, but also with the new home and the engagement! You sure had a busy year. Keep plugging away and you will have another successful year to look back on come 2015. I look forward to following you and reading about your progress this year.

    Take care,


  5. W2R,

    I hope you hit all of your goals for 2014! Congrats on buying the house and getting engaged. Those are both two very big occasions. I wish you continued success and look forward to reading your posts this year.

  6. Great goals, and I am excited for you as you work to build up the blog. I have much the same viewpoint and am focusing on building up the content, traffic before I start worrying about the online revenue.

    Sounds like the makings of a very memorable year. Getting married and starting the MBA! Well done, sir!

  7. Nice goals and best of luck on hitting all of them. I’m still amazed when I look back on my own blogging history. It isn’t as awesome as some other blogs but I still can’t believe it. Keep putting out quality content and the traffic will come.

    It’s funny that you used the picture of Pre because I happened to catch that movie on tv this past weekend.

    • Thanks JC! I’m hoping to have a more consistent year regardless of pageviews, but it gives me something to track. And I love tracking things. I’m sure I’ll have a chart or two for this as well! :)

      Love that movie about Pre. Tremendously inspiring and Sutherland did an unbelievable job playing Bowerman.

  8. I like your target goals. If you ever want any advice on SEO just shoot me an email. I certainly don’t know everything but I can show you what I know.

  9. congrats W2R!. Thats a solid 2013 return you have. You seemed to have carved out a nice niche there with a focus on Lending Club activity. I think you may be entering the space at the right time. Improving unemployment should bring down default rates, though it sounds like you haven’t had too many issues there, touch wood! Best with 2014 goals!

  10. Thanks for sharing the goals and congrats on the success! I’m looking to grow my blog and my income this year and will also be tracking my progress. Lending Club and Prosper are on my radar for potential additions to my investing arsenal in 2014.

  11. W2R,

    Congrats on a very successful 2013! And congrats as well on the engagement. Sounds like you had an awesome year, and you’re off to a great start for 2014. :)

    Good luck with everything. I’m quite sure you can nail it this year. Both the blogging and passive income goals are definitely achievable, but will push you – which is exactly what you want.

    And that’s awesome you squeaked by with the dividend income. Reminds me of my 2011 when I also had a similar margin between the goal and the end result. A win is a win! :)

    Thanks for all your support in my journey. I hope we all have a really successful year. Passive income is climbing for many of us, and it’s really exciting to be part of this!

    Best wishes.

    • Thanks DM! I’m glad you’ve stopped by and appreciate your support! Being pushed and motivated is good for everyone, especially when it aligns with our passions.

      You’ve got a heck of a year ahead of you as well, and I’m sure you will exceed even your own lofty expectations!


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